I’m slightly reluctant to even write about Washington Nationals’ utility player Mark DeRosa’s recent comments about the Chicago Cubs, given the tenor of conversation ’round these parts lately whenever the subject of “the future” comes up. But, because it’s a salient issue, and because DeRosa remains a favorite son of Chicago, here goes nothing.
With the Cubs in Washington to play the Nationals, you could imagine that folks would, at some point, want to talk to former Cub DeRosa about his time in Chicago, the state of the team, and the future of the organization. He had some interesting thoughts, including on where things stand with the Cubs.
“For me, as an outsider,” DeRosa told Patrick Mooney, “it’s hard to watch them go through the struggles they’re going to go through for the next year or two.
“Theo – I don’t want to say deserves benefit of the doubt because I think that’s the wrong term – but I think Theo has a vision and it’s worked before and there’s no reason why it can’t work again.”
So DeRosa believes the Cubs are on the right track under Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer?
“Absolutely,” DeRosa said. “Theo’s proven [it]. His track record’s proven in Boston – we don’t know all the ins and outs of previous contracts and stuff like that. But I think him and [Hoyer] are guys who have a vision. They’ve seen it work before.
“Chicago is strongest financially in that division – if they want to be. What they’re trying to accomplish from the ground up – building their farm system and making them a viable contender for many years to come – I think they can also bridge the gap by going out and spending the money and getting [players].
And if the Cubs do go out and try to acquire free agents, DeRosa reiterates that playing for the Cubs is a unique, and attractive proposition.
“People want to [go] there. I know the day games [are an issue]. That’s the biggest question I get [from] other players who haven’t been there: How did you get used to the day games? You just do – 40,000 people in the seats make you get ready to play. It’s just such a unique place to play.”
Of course, of the types of free agents the Cubs are likely to pursue this offseason, they might get to spend only a half season at Wrigley before being traded, but DeRosa’s point stands. The Cubs will likely have a financial advantage, long-term, over their NL Central rivals, and that should help them not only retain homegrown talent that becomes expensive, but also get some top free agents when the time is right.
And now you’ll all descend into madness debating when the “right” time is to pursue big name free agents…